Billie Myers could probably get by with marching onto a stage and just standing there—uttering not even a note for two hours and get a standing ovation at show’s end. This is how strikingly gorgeous she is! But that’s not all. She happens to be enormously talented.
Her 1997 debut record Growing Pains, produced by rock veteran Desmond Child, introduced the music world to a unique voice that combined the sensuality of Chrissie Hynde and the manic urgency of Alanis Morissette. The record eventually achieved gold status, yielding the Top 20 hit “Kiss the Rain” co-written by ex-Hooter Eric Bazilian. She spent the summer of 1998 touring with Lilith Fair in addition to headlining her own tour. Interestingly enough, Myers never set out to blaze a musical path of any kind.
She grew up in England and, as a child, took to poetry; it would prove to be a life-long passion. She has worked as both a nurse and an insurance agent. Ironically, she was discovered in a dance club by producer Peter Harris who was intrigued by her stunning looks and energetic dance moves. He soon found out that she could sing as well as dance and a record deal with Universal soon followed. For Myers, music would be the perfect vehicle for her poetic musings.
Her latest offering Vertigo proves to be a contrast to the disordered, dizzying state that its title suggests. The record is extremely balanced and cleverly conceived. The music contains a diverse array of styles from rock, pop and dance to Jamaican and Eastern influences. Her lyrics are often thought-provoking, dealing with such topics as religion (“Should I Call You Jesus”), wearing your heart on your sleeve (“Let Them See You Cry”) and deception (“Without My Consent”). But it’s the record’s opening track “Am I Here Yet (Return to Sender)” that gets Vertigo off to a great start, utilizing a sample of the infectious chorus of Hot Chocolate’s 1975 hit “You Sexy Thing” to propel the song. Also worthy of mention are excellent tracks like “Where Romeo Never Dies,” “Roll Over Beethoven” (not the Chuck Berry tune) and the hypnotic title track.
With Vertigo, Billie Myers refuses to rest on the laurels of her previous success. Instead she ups the ante by creating a seamless record that has all of the elements to turn gold into platinum.
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// Notes from the Road
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